Neither Stan nor I are social butterflies. We have a few close friends…not a big network. That makes the friends we do have very special to us. We already lost a good friend we knew in college who we had fallen out of touch with, around the same time we lost our dog Plato. A couple weeks ago we got a call from a very close friend in another state, saying that he had just had surgery over the Thanksgiving holiday. This was a few months after *he* had lost his stepfather. Common surgery, nothing removed that one cannot live without. He is doing fine now, however.
This is very hard for me to write about this.
Last week we were in the hospital for four nights visiting another very close friend. He is not doing fine. He has been through so many health problems. He had a stroke 7 years ago, heart surgery a half year after that, and has been plagued with everything…migraines, sinus infections and more, and now he recently had a bad infection that was affecting his heart surgery from before, which landed him in the hospital. Yesterday, he had a brain hemorrhage and that resulted in emergency brain surgery.
Even if he pulls through this, there is no hope for him getting his life back to what it was. But I fear we will lose another friend this year. What are the odds?
He was always connected to our dogs. He fell in love with Hieronymus when he met him, and never a time would go by after we lost Hieronymus that he wouldn’t come up in conversation with us. The strange thing was that he got his stroke the year Hieronymus died. It is so not surprising that this would happen to him the year Plato died.
Back in 1996/97, Stan’s parents lost their dog that they had had a long time, and a few months later Stan’s father died.
I always had a feeling that when Plato died, someone close to me would die. I am afraid it will be prophetic.
After Vladimir our 2nd cat died in November of 1998, I couldn’t bear being without a grey kitty. We adopted Caligula only a few days later. After Hieronymus our fawn pug died, we got Lucifer Sam 3 weeks later, which I thought was pretty soon to find a black Pug. After Persephone, our 3rd cat died, we waited over a month to get Apollo, timing it conveniently with Stan’s time off for a “Kitten vacation.” I was fearing it would be much longer before we could get a Boston Terrier due to our plans to be away in August. I knew we either had to get one soon, or we would have to wait until September. The thought of being without a Boston was tearing me up inside. I was so depressed every day. Our other animals were sad and missing him too.
I know that getting another animal does not replace the animal that precedes it. It is silly to think such. Each animal is unique and has its own personality. But what it does do is bring our focus from depressed to engaged again. It continues the cycle of life, of our life together with our animals…cat, pug, cat, boston, cat, pug, cat, boston, and so on.
I feel it is important that there are 2 of each. Having not had one like myself growing up, I know how much it sucks. Even though Lucifer Sam is a little freaked out by Jasper right now, soon they will be couch snuggle buddies together…a little pack of two. Caligula was a hiss-monster with Apollo at first, but now they sleep in touching symmetrical shapes on the bed together. Plato grrrred at Lucifer Sam when we brought him home and snapped at his head. We had to keep them separated for several days until Plato acclimated to him. But after that, they were buddies until Plato died.
When I have my 2 sets of 2, I feel much more balanced, like life is normal. And I can remember all my other animals that have moved on fondly, but not have to cry myself sick about it.